ied. unconscious for 32 days. i met him then at the bethesda naval hospital. >> i can't see it. >> reporter: he can't remember anything from that interview, but today he owns a new house and is back in college. >> i knew there could be a high possibility of me being wounded. i didn't believe i would get wounded as traumatically as i did, but, you know, i don't regret one second of it. if they gave me the chance, i would go back. >> reporter: how do they want americans to think of them now? >> i want people to look beyond what happened overseas. they can see the scars, look at my head, my jaw, shoulder, all that stuff, but i wish people would look beyond that. there's more to any given human. >> reporter: now, about 1.5 million americans have served in the war in iraq. most of those that i know, diane, have told me no matter what you feel about the war, for it or against it, history will make that determination. for now, americans have to thank those veterans for what they've done and for what they are. >> we do.